You can always expect any of Neil Warnock’s teams to be big and physical and to get at their opponents, and Cardiff will not be any different and will make life hard for the Arsenal players. This will certainly be a big test to see if Emery’s pressing tactics and ‘playing out from the back’ will work against these sort of teams.
And Emery was quite clear in the pre-match conference that he will continue. He said: “We want to do the high pressing against the opposition. Then after this game (West Ham) I analysed it with the players. We started the match well but then we lost the control for moments in the game. Then we finished the last 20 minutes really well.
“I am very, very happy firstly with the three points but then also how the team worked to win this match and how we finished the last few minutes. I want to continue that in the next match this Sunday against Cardiff, a different game, but just to continue our momentum.”
I do worry about Neil Warnock being given all the time in the world to come up with counter-tactics, especially as we haven’t mastered Emery’s instructions as yet. Jamie Redknapp thinks that Emery needs to be more flexible. He said: “Against Cardiff, it’s probably a game where, last year under Wenger, they would have gone there and lost. The away record towards the end of the season was disgraceful and they were spineless. Something Arsenal fans will demand is that the manager makes Arsenal difficult to beat away from home and if they decide to play out from the back and spilt the centre-backs away at Cardiff, the Cardiff fans will love that, the players will love it because they’ll press them in and stop them playing out.
“That’s where Cardiff can get some success against them, and I’ve said it before that you’ve got to have a game-plan when the team you’re playing against are going to put you under pressure, which Cardiff will. Long balls, long throws into the box and when you think about Arsenal over the last few years, it’s been their kryptonite.”
We are all expecting our games to get easier as our players adapt to EmeryBall, but could our opponents learn how to counter us before we can perfect it? We are certainly giving away to much ground to our opposing frwards at the moment. Maybe Torreira will help us fix that….